Copyright Compendium

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618.8 (H) Nature of Authorship Statement Omitted from a Paper Application

618.8 (H) Nature of Authorship Statement Omitted from a Paper Application


If the applicant fails to complete the Nature of Authorship space in a paper application, the registration specialist may register the claim if the applicant completed spaces 6 (A) and 6 (B), provided that those spaces clearly identify the copyrightable material that the applicant intends to register and provided that the author named in the application appears to be the author of that material. In this situation, the claim to copyright is defined by the information provided in space 6 (B) of the application.


If the applicant fails to complete the Nature of Authorship space on Form PA or Form VA, the specialist may register the claim if the applicant provided a statement that adequately describes the work being registered in the Nature of This Work space, and if the author named in the application appears to be the sole author of that material. In this situation, the specialist will add that statement to the Nature of Authorship space and add an annotation to the record, such as: “Regarding authorship information: Information added by Copyright Office from application.”


In all other cases, the specialist will communicate with the applicant to request an appropriate authorship statement.


Examples:


• An application is submitted on Form PA for a motion picture. The Nature of Authorship space is blank. Space 6 (A) indicates that “preexisting footage” has been excluded from the claim, while space 6 (B) indicates that the claim is limited to “additional new footage.” The registration specialist will register the claim because the applicant clearly intends to register the “new footage” described in space 6 (B).


• An application is submitted on Form VA for a book of photographs. The Nature of Authorship space is blank. In space 6 (A) the applicant lists the photographs that appear on pages 1, 5, 8, and 9. In space 6 (B) the applicant lists the photographs that appear on pages 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10. The registration specialist will register the claim because the applicant clearly intends to register the photographs listed in space 6 (B).


• An application is submitted on Form PA for a song written by one individual. The Nature of Authorship space is blank, but the applicant described the Nature of This Work as “music and lyrics.” The registration specialist will add this statement to the record and register the claim with an annotation, such as: “Regarding authorship information: Information added by Copyright Office from application.”


• An application to register an article is submitted on Form TX. Archie Crab and Shellie Carmack are named as co-authors of the work, but the Nature of Authorship space and space 6 (B) have been left blank. A statement on the deposit copy states “written and illustrated by Archie Crab and Shellie Carmack.” The registration specialist will communicate with the applicant to request an appropriate authorship statement, such as “text, 2-D artwork.”

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